Keith Hill says that the future of Tranmere Rovers Football Club won't be put in jeopardy by overspending on players in the January transfer window.

Rovers currently lie 15th in League Two, having only won one of their last five league matches, but recorded an impressive victory of Leicester City U21s on Wednesday evening, that has seen the Birkenhead club progress to the quarter-finals of the Papa John's Trophy.

Traditionally, January sees numerous comings and goings at all football clubs up and down the country, but although loanees Sam Smith and Jack Young have this week returned to their parent clubs, the Rovers boss insists the current climate means that new business will only be done if it's realistically possible.

Wirral Globe: Danny Lloyd heads home Tranmere's second goal against Leicester City U21s. Photo: Phil BryanDanny Lloyd heads home Tranmere's second goal against Leicester City U21s. Photo: Phil Bryan

Speaking at his online pre-match press conference, ahead of the weekend trip to Stevenage, he said: "We don't want to take away expectation and ambition. Everyone has it, but can anyone deal with reality at this moment in time?

"You can't just spend spend when you've hardly got any revenue. So there's got to be a sensible approach to anything that you do in any business.

"Would any Tranmere supporter want to put the future of the football club in jeopardy? I don't think so.

"Will I have to carry the can for that if we can't improve the team? No, because I'll work with the group of players that we've got and I'm really excited about doing that.

"If we can add to it, we will do so to make it better, but I don't think there should be any pressure put on Mark (Palios) or the board of directors.

"We know what we've got and what we're dealing with (now) but we don't know what we're dealing with in the future with the possibility of the season being suspended again."

Rovers' recent league form may be patchy, but in their last three matches they have shown steady improvement, culminating in a deserved 4-2 victory against the young Foxes last night. But when asked if improvements would lead to greater consistency, Hill preferred to look at the bigger picture.

Wirral Globe: Tranmere boss Keith Hill was impressed with his side's performance against Leicester City U21s. Photo: Phil BryanTranmere boss Keith Hill was impressed with his side's performance against Leicester City U21s. Photo: Phil Bryan

He said: "We'll go there (Stevenage) to be competitive and we'll plan to win the game. We have to do the basics to give us an opportunity to win. I'm really happy with the last two performances in particular and the Barrow performance.

"Consistency comes out of repetitive good habits, it's one win in five (in the league) but I think out of the (last) ten league games, we've got 19 points.

"We've not been able to do anything over the best part of three weeks to affect our league position."

Tranmere's first team was depleted by positive Covid test results last weekend, for the trip to Barnsley in the FA Cup and it only got worse on Tuesday with another two players joining the virus sick list.

But Rovers' squad has shown good versatility, with midfielders Otis Khan and Kieron Morris slotting in at fullback last night and it will be a similar squad that makes the journey south for Saturday's game.

Their opponents have won their last two matches, but are 20th in the table and only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

Hill said: "There's not a lot changed from last night. We've had another round of testing and we haven't got any positive cases, but it still leaves us relatively similar to last night's squad. We're hoping for one or two additions.

"We're trying to get as many players involved as we can, because they're important games. I don't want to just fulfill a fixture for the sake of it. We want it to be competitive.

"The challenge is for us to make an impact this season. We can't wait for next season, we can't wait for Covid to be conquered. We have to try and make as much of this season's opportunities as we can and that's 26 league games.

"There's a expectation that we are successful and we want to be successful.

"When we went to Colchester, we did have two players who showed symptoms and we did have positive test results as a consequence of being tested after the Colchester game.

"It's not crisis management. Football is an enjoyable environment to work in. There are pressures, but they are not same as saving lives pressures.

"We want everyone to be safe but we want to be in position where we're showing a true reflection of our supporters and the DNA that they want the team to represent."